Chapter 10… The Beginnings of Pagan Thought
· Nimrod “rebel” in 10:8… son of Cush (Ethiopia); mighty hunter of men (murderer), flaunting against the Noahic covenant of not shedding human blood (9:6); built a metroplex of cities (10:10) in Babylon (Shinar); then built Assyria with Nineveh as its capital.
· Nimrod named his kingdom “Babel” meaning “gate of God” but it sounds like another Hebrew word for “confusion” b/c it was here that God confused the language (chapter 11).
· Though Cush’s line was evil, only Canaan’s line was cursed (9:24).
· All of chapter 10 happens AFTER chapter 11; the chronology is off (cf. Genesis 1 and 2).
Chapter 11… The Tower of Babel
· All activities occur 130 years after flood (10:25 speaks of Peleg, when the earth was divided); only 130 years to become evil once again.
· Men moved from the east to a plain (most likely all of the men on the earth at that time).
· Verses 3-4: 1) Build a city, 2) build a tower, SO THAT 3) to make a name for themselves.
· God wanted them scattered so as to fill the earth – they were rebelling.
· The tower was their gate to God; it was a zodiac and can still be found in Babylon today.
· In verse 5 God’s “coming down” as an anthropomorphism.
· God’s coming down in verse 7 means that their tower wasn’t as high as He.
· God uses “Us” for His tri-unity, and language is confused to stop their work. This appears to be God’s grace at work, not letting them attain that which they ought not attain.
· Verse 8 gives epilogue of what God did and what the consequences were.
· The city still named Babylon today – the land of confusion where the great whore sits on “many waters” (Rev. 17) meaning many peoples and nations.
· After Babel there was a dispersion… Nimrod had a wife named Simarinus, and they had a child named Tamuz – a virgin birth. Tamuz was killed by a wild boar, but was resurrected back to life. The symbol of like back from the dead became an egg (a symbol for our easter!). As a result the most ancient of religious cults came into being: a queen of heaven who could remove death. From this all other pagan religions copied but used other names: in Egypt it was Isis and Horis; in Greece it was Aphrodite and Eros; in Rome it was Venus and Cupid. This is why the mother/son relationship of Mary and Jesus is attacked as being copied from ancient pagan religion. However, our salvation story comes straight from Adam to Seth to Shem to Abraham to David to Jesus, and our story comes from the beginning in Genesis 3:15 – the proto-evangelion.
· It was Nimrod who set out to pollute the whole process; his descendant was going to deliver man; all pagan religions have their source in Babylon.
1) Immense pride is rebellion against God (11:2-4)
a) Pride leads to disobedience, to God’s wrath (2)
b) Ingenuity strengthens God’s ambition (3)
c) Ambition and fear motivate pride (4)
2) God will not permit proud rebellious acts to succeed (5-8)
a) God investigates the activities of arrogant mortals (5)
b) God knows the danger of collective apostasy (6-7)
c) God cuts off the expectations of such pride (8)
3) Epilogue (9)